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All4fun&fun4all

Carnival Fantasy Review & Pics/ June 5th, 2010 Sailing

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Let me preface this by saying we had an AMAZING time and our experiences far exceeded our expectations. I will try to dispel some myths and verify some truths for everyone.

My writing style is basically how I speak so there will be some tense shifts and perhaps some improper grammar as well. Our pictures will include us experiencing our fun which I haven’t really seen too much on here but some things will make better sense that way.

Just so you know who you are looking at; we are Andrew and Nancy together (not married) for 6 years now. He is 40 and I am 36 years old. I have two teenaged boys who haven’t been cruising yet. Once they behave maybe they can join us.

Ok now, sit back and grab your popcorn…put that tomato juice down and enjoy this flashback of our most recent cruise.

Embarkation: Since we live in Charleston the decision was made to take a cab from my apartment in the West Ashley area. This is me...waiting for the cab.

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We got a good one (Jonathan) who had a notebook detailing the proper way to drop off at the port. Great guy. We rounded the corner and there she is…my home for 6 days.

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We made it there in about 10 minutes and it cost around $15. I am pretty glad that I was not responsible for dropping anyone off for a cruise at this point because it looked pretty confusing but our cabbie got us to the luggage tent with no problem. The porters there were very friendly and since our luggage was a bit heavy we tipped accordingly. At this point there is a shuttle bus waiting for us that will drop us and our carry-on luggage at the terminal.

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What happened next was a whirlwind of activity. I have never boarded a ship so fast in my life! We entered and were directed to the screening area. I had my smaller than 12x12x12 cooler which held all my toiletries, a rolling suitcase and Andrew and I each had a backpack. Inside the rolling suitcase we had a 12 pack of water and in the backpack I had 4 diet cokes. The suitcase, cooler and backpack with liquids were the only ones they wanted to inspect closer. We placed everything on the table for them and it took only a second. Now off to fill in the health questionnaire and up to the check in desk. We were putting down a cash deposit which is to be paid to guest services upon boarding so it went pretty quickly at check in. There is a spot set up for your embarkation photo and then up the stairs to take your Sail & Sign photo, down a crazy tunnel of gangplank and then straight onboard. They put you in an elevator and send you up to lido. This whole process took around 20 minutes or so. I was impressed. Here is a view of the gangplanks from onboard the ship.

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OnBoard, Muster & Sailaway: At this point is probably around 12:15 or so. Guest Services is right in the atrium so we immediately went over and put $200.00 each on our S&S account. Then up to lido…where the magic happens.

 

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We walked onto lido with big smiles on our faces. And of course the first order of business is the drink of the day which today was Funship Special.

 

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We ran into Cruise Critic member Andy who took our picture for us. I noted that the Jacuzzi said Adult’s Only but lookie here…

 

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tiniest adult ever. We made our way over to the smoking side of the ship and took in our surroundings. At some point we got tired of hauling our stuff around and snuck down to our room to drop off our carry on and turn our bed. Yes, the doors were shut to the hallway, but they weren’t locked. I know, I know the doors are shut for a reason but our room was ready anyway. I checked our closet for bathrobes and yay…

 

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there they were! Dropped our things and headed back to lido. Today was Italian day in the buffet area so naturally I had to have a little bite of something. The baked fish and stuffed tomato were delicious. Had some olives too which I think were the best olives I have tasted…ever.

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Edited by All4fun&fun4all

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Here is a view of downtown Charleston from the ship. That is the Customs House straight ahead and part of Fleet Landing (awesome restaurant) to the left.

 

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Our muster station was in the Universe Lounge. It was actually pretty humorous. I like laughing while I learn. However, I was truly bummed that they began sailaway right in the middle of muster. Anyhow, off we go to the lifeboats. We were at lifeboat number one which made it easier to head to the very front of the ship for the remainder of sailaway.

 

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It is really really windy up here just so you know. Dresses are not recommended.

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. Another thing I saw that some may not realize is that you can see some/most of the balconies from the front of the ship on this deck. Hmmm.

 

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Here is our sailaway from the lovely, historic Charleston harbour!

 

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The view towards Sullivan's Island

 

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I actually saw the Fantasy sail into Charleston for the first time from the beach on Sullivan's Island so it was extra nifty to see it from this vantage point.

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After sailaway we made our way back down to the room and our luggage was already there. Nice!

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The porthole room being an interior priced room was a huge draw for us but mainly, I couldn’t wait to do this.

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The sunset it absolutely stunning through these round little windows.

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Shall we hop up the stairs to the Serenity Deck? Absolutely!

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Our next little piece of business was dinner. And dont you worry...I took pictures of the food. Here we are blurry but ready for our first night of dinner.

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Dinner night 1: Dinner in the MDR is a must for me on night one. Night one’s dining attire was cruise casual and our dinner couple were Jason and Cathy. I still cant figure out how they choose these pairings. The only thing we really had in common were age and the fact that both our guys are unemployed. I think I truly embarrassed them by taking pictures of my food. Pfft…whatever. We were in an elevated section and Andrew asked our server about the lower section by the windows and he said that was for Anytime Diners. Next time we go that route!

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Now…are ya ready? Here comes the food porn! Wait for it….wait for it.

Cured Salmon and Candied Tomato,

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Beef and Barley soup,

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Grilled Flat Iron Steak from American Choice Beef

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Seared Filet of Tilapia

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Everything was perfect temperature and taste-wise. After dinner we aren’t desert people so we had a lovely cup of cappuchino that was really strong but very tasty.

 

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The rest of the evening we spent wandering around the ship and familiarizing ourselves with our new home after we changed into some comfy ship-wandering clothes. Our room was turned down for the evening and the less than 12x12x12 cooler I brought was full of ice. This little snake was on our bed.

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Our steward was Big C and he was amazing. His actual name was Cordosa but he asked us to call him Big C right from the start. He was a great steward. Here is Big C.

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Oh, and by the way we had 2 chocolates every night and I got a Carnival pen this time! The Fun Times seemed no different to me than the Capers. We stopped by the Galleria and bought two cartons of Marlboro brand cigarettes for $49.00. (The picture below was taken while it was closed on the last day but wanted you guys to have a visual)

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And if you like your rums...there are these exciting specials:

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Gambling is not really our “thing” but watching people win/lose money is fun. Craps, however, is a really difficult game to understand. After watching for close to an hour the logic escapes me but lucky us…they have pamphlets that tell you how to play the casino games and apparently there are gaming lessons in the casino on the first night around 5:30pm

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Up to lido deck now where this FREAK rain storm popped up out of nowhere. It was so pretty with the lightning sparking across the sky while at sea and shimmering off the lights of the lido deck.

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By this time it is pretty late and exhaustion has set in. For me at least. Andrew found American Chopper on the tv with no commercial interruption and multiple episodes in a row so I fell asleep to the sound of some monster motorcycles. Day 1= Success!

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Great start All4fun!! We are sailing on Fantasy July 2nd and are just LOVING your photos and comments!! Thanks a bunch! :D

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Great start All4fun!! We are sailing on Fantasy July 2nd and are just LOVING your photos and comments!! Thanks a bunch! :D

Glad you are enjoying! I never realized just how much goes into these reviews. It may take me awhile but I will try to have it complete by your July 2nd sailing. :o

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I'm excited for the rest of this review! We leave next Saturday on the Fantasy. Yippeeeeeee! :)

Edited by BelizePlease

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It may take me awhile but I will try to have it complete by your July 2nd sailing.

 

Dont worry - we're very patient....except for waiting for this vacation to get here!!

 

Not to impose, but were you planning to post a copy of the Fun Times?

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Excellent narration. I'll have to talk to you some more about the MDR seating situation. We're booked for the late seating, but I'd rather sit by the window. -- Looking forward to the rest of your review.

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Dont worry - we're very patient....except for waiting for this vacation to get here!!

 

Not to impose, but were you planning to post a copy of the Fun Times?

I do have all of the Fun Times. I am not sure however how to get them on here. I DO have a scanner at work...hmmm

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Ok, gonna try to sneak in one more day

 

Day 2 @ Sea: This morning we got up around 10am which felt fabulous. We had all intentions of making it to the MDR for breakfast but since we overslept it was lido deck buffett instead. I am sad to say that there are no pictures of this nom fest because I was so terribly hungry that I forgot to take a breakfast picture. This would be the case for most of the week. The Andrew would ask “did ya take a picture?” and me saying “crap” then Andrew rearranging the food so it wouldn’t look like it had been munched on. Anyway, I had an omlet from the omlet station where the pizza is served in the back of Windows on the Sea. The bacon police were not present at the buffet line but I only took a few pieces for us to share. All the breakfast food was really really good!

There are some really amazing bartenders at our favorite bar on the smoking side of Lido. Look for Ramona, Dalibor, Koli and Jose’. This is Ramona and Dalibor who we nicknamed Heavy D.

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Here is Heavy D and Koli.

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Andrew had his first double bloody mary of the cruise and I had the drink of the day the Yellowbird.

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Let me tell you the lido deck was PACKED with people. I saw a few chair hogs but for the most part people were actually sitting in their chairs and baking in the sun.

 

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One woman actually moved her chair in the middle of a pathway but she moved it after getting bumped around a bit. Lots of kids on this cruise. I heard a rumor circulating that there were 1100 kids. Lots of graduating high school seniors but all seemed pretty well-behaved. I wanted to trip a few that were running but that is just the dark side of my personality popping through.

 

We had several drinks that day but one of my favorites The Frozen Funky Monkey that was the winner for the Master of Mixology contest won by….da da dada…Andy from Cruise Critic! Congrats Andy! I had about 3 of those along with:

Kiss on the Lips

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Miami Vice

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These were lovely...not sure what they are but they are fantastic.

 

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Andrew mainly ordered buckets of beer.

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A few activities we wanted to see were the ice carving which is amazing!

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It was an Indian head. We watched the Hairy Chest contest from afar because I think Andrew was afraid I was going to volunteer him again.

 

We moseyed on down to Guest Services to check our balance and I inquired about a deck of cards. YES! They have decks of cards.

Here is Andrew holding our deck of cards!

 

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I think we probably spent about 5 hours sitting at the bar on lido deck. (I love the look on Andrew's face here)

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We got to talking to Ramona who is, by the way, phenomenal when the bar is packed with people. The subject of Cruise Confidential came up and she said she would be interested in reading it because her husband works in the dining room. I happened to have brought my copy along with me and since we have already read it…we gave it to Ramona. She was so happy and the other bartenders picked it up with interest too. She promised to pass it around to her paisanos.

Dinner Night 2: This night was Elegant Night. Well, in our rush to leave for this lovely cruise we forgot the one dinner jacket at the cleaners and the other in my closet along with dress shoes. I am sorry y’all I am NOT going to miss lobster. So, the Andrew wore khaki pants and a pale green button down short sleeved shirt. I thought he looked pretty elegant. (Do not look down at the tennis shoes).

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Love the review; can't wait for more! A friend and I took our first cruise ever this past Feb. And it was on Fantasy. We loved the ship and cruising also! I'm booked for an October cruise on Freedom with some other friends. I can hardly wait 3 1/2 months!

Will be looking for the rest of your review/pics. Great job!

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Love this review....can't wait for the rest. We leave Monday - I have to share this with the three cruise virgins in our group....they will be so excited to read everything and see your pictures...THANKS (and more!!!):D

Sandy

Edited by slsmartin

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I'm booked on the Legend for the next cruise, but your pictures make me miss the Fantasy class... such classic boats!

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We will be sailing on Fantasy 08/14/10 and enjoyed all your photos, thanks for sharing.

Randall:D

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I am loving your review and your writing style....my whole family was gathered around my little netbook last night as I read your review...kinda like story time...LOL You made us all LOL a lot and got my kids more excited than they have been in a while for our upcoming cruise.

 

Although, now they are mad at me for not getting a cabin with portholes...:rolleyes:

 

Thanks and can't wait for more:D

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Terrific review. I have 58 days before I sail on her. Your pictures are wonderful and have me dreaming of what's to come.

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:DI am so happy that everyone is enjoying our story. I am in the process of writing more in Word to copy and paste. Maybe by noon I can get us to our first port...KEY WEST!

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So, where did we leave off...oh yeah, Elegant Night. Here we are...lookin all elegant and stuff.

 

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Who's ready for food porn? I thought you were!

 

Caesar Salad

 

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Baked Stuffed White Mushrooms

 

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Duet of Broiled Maine Lobster Tail and Grilled Jumbo Black Tiger Shrimps

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Tender Roasted Prime Rib of American Beef

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Supreme of Hudson Valley Duck

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You guessed it...we each got two entrees. I have never tried duck but wanted the lobster and Andrew wanted the lobster but loves their prime rib so we asked for both. Our server then asked us which we wanted first. Lobster please. Those "shrimps" were gigantic. Definitely 2 to 3 bite "shrimps". The duck was ok but I think by the time I got around to eating the duck, I was already full from the first entree. We dont normally eat this heavy so we ended up going back to our room for awhile to let the dinner settle. Oh so full.

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We live in Mt. Pleasant and are sailing August 21 and like you, we're planning on taking a cab to the terminal (not sure which company to call yet). I am so glad to hear that the local cab companies are getting better knowledge of the SPA area and drop off procedures. Hopefully, our boarding will take a short amount of time like yours - it's gonna be a hot one!

 

Your review is great. Glad your SO doesn't mind having his picture taken!

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Sorry about how blurry the dinner pics are. I didnt want to use a flash.

 

We made it to our room and lo and behold our room is clean and there sits a doggie wearing my sunglasses.

 

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Our steward is a NINJA!!! We also saw these:

 

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YAY for past guest party! We went back out to wander the ship, aimlessly stopping at random locations. We take the stairs for the entire cruise. It helps to keep the weight off.

 

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This is what the carpet looks like.

 

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Our favorite bar is closed at this point but we made a few cocktails in our room (dont judge). This is what the carpet looks like after many many rum drinks.

 

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I love sitting on lido when its late at night. The people watching is always amusing. We met this lovely couple

 

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Buck and Heath! They have triplets! All of us sat around enjoying our libations until somewhere around 2am. I have no idea how I managed to walk down those stairs that night but I pretty much fell into bed. Our goal is to wake up early enough to have breakfast in the MDR and hit the streets of KEY WEST.

 

Day 2=Exhausting (in a good way)

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We live in Mt. Pleasant and are sailing August 21 and like you, we're planning on taking a cab to the terminal (not sure which company to call yet). I am so glad to hear that the local cab companies are getting better knowledge of the SPA area and drop off procedures. Hopefully, our boarding will take a short amount of time like yours - it's gonna be a hot one!

 

Your review is great. Glad your SO doesn't mind having his picture taken!

We called yellow cab and the wait nearly killed me. It took him about 20 minutes to get to us. It just added to the anticipation though.

 

Thanks...the Andrew is a ham. You will see him show up in MANY more pics. Some will come with a PG-13 to R rated warning. :eek:

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KEY WEST: We awoke to the sound of bow thrusters (I think) around 6:30am. It was a bit noisy but was able to fall back asleep with no problem. We thought breakfast was served until 10am so we were up and at em at 8:30. Nope...it appears that on port days the MDR stops serving breakfast at 9am. Dangit we missed breakfast AGAIN! All I want is a little eggs benedict...please??? UGH

 

So, breakfast buffet it is once again. This was one of those moments that I had already started eating so it isnt really pretty. Here is what I had

 

Grits, corned beef hash, potato rounds, bagel/cream cheese and sausage.

 

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Andrew had an omlet and some sausage

 

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On our Fun Times it said that we needed our Birth Certificate (or passport), I.D. and Sail and Sign card. They only asked for the S&S card on the way out though. Apparently they were switching out some sculptures in front of the Museaum of Art and History/Customs House. This one is on the flatbed of a truck.

 

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Check out the name of the crane service. Giggle.

 

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We walked down Duval Street and checked out all the local art. It was unbelievably HOT in Key West and I am used to oppressive heat. There are so many stores/bars/galleries that you can stop in to cool off. Several folks sitting out in front of the bars handing out drink coupons. 2 for 1 and such. Awesomeness! First objective was to the Southernmost point with a few stops for pics along the way. Believe it or not...we didnt make it into Sloppy Joes or Capt Tony's Saloon but I got some pics. Here ya go.

 

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I really fell in love with Key West. The locals seem so very chill.

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Look! Someone has a John Deere trinket!

 

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I am not sure what type of tree this is but they are all over Key West. I would have to say that this may be my favorite tree!

 

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Even the Walgreens is super cool. Looks like it may have been a theater back in the day.

 

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A happy but hot Andrew.

 

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We went into a really nifty art gallery and if I am not mistaken this sign was in the window there.

 

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There was a motorcycle in the window that Goddard had done the artwork on. The gallery master (or whatever it is they call them) was very friendly and not at all pushy and even took us into the private studio to show us how the lighting affects the interpretation of some of the paintings. He walked around with us explaining the significance and techniques used when we had questions. Its a nice quiet place to cool off and look at crazy cool artwork.

 

Now back outside to work our way to our objective. Getting closer!

 

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Southernmost House Grand Hotel and Museum.

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Best review EVER! I leave June 26....Keep it comin' girl....you're doin' great!

 

I leave June 26 also! We have a roll call (not a lot of people on it yet) on the roll calls page - you should check it out! Lots of southerners :D

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I am beginning to wonder if there is some sort of competition to be the southernmost house.

 

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There is a line to take a picture at the exact location of the Southernmost Point. We just decided to stand out in front of it near the street. A sweet couple offered to take our picture for us. Thanks sweet couple!

 

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We had absolutely no problems walking all over Key West. Yes, it was extremely hot so make sure to bring lots and lots of water. We went through a few bottles.

 

There are roosters everywhere. You can hear them crowing all the time. I heard a rumor somewhere (probably on these boards) that if you catch one of the roosters that roam this city and bring it to a specific bar you will get a free drink. Andrew tried pretty hard even though I told him I couldnt remember which bar it was.

 

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Its a good thing he couldnt catch it because this rooster had a wife and kids.

 

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Our second objective was Hemingway House. I had a polydachtyl cat a few years ago and she was awesome. She died from some weird blood disease from getting bitten by a flea that had bitten an infected fox. So, I wanted to go see some 6 toed kitties. $12.00 for adults and you can either explore the grounds and house on your own or go for the guided tour. Typically we are not the guided tour sort of people but it was beginning right when we walked in so why not. If it gets boring we can just wander off right? Let me tell you, the guide Stan, was really a good tour guide. He was funny and informative and really knew his stuff.

 

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But I WANT to pick up the cats. *pout*

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I am not sure what type of tree this is but they are all over Key West. I would have to say that this may be my favorite tree!

 

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Those are so beautiful! They were all over Freeport and Nassau, too. I just had to ask the locals about them. They're called Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia). I want to live in a forest of them! :D

 

This is an awesome review thread!

 

I was on the same cruise, and also met Buck and clan. The triplets are SOOOO CUTE!!!

 

Hung out with Andy "Funky Monkey" quite a bit as well, mostly in the piano bar. He's a hoot! :D

 

I think I met y'all, too? I meet so many people on the ships that I get confused sometimes. :o

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